I’ve been told countless times, “Wow I LOVE that jacket/dress/outfit/necklace so much but I could never pull it off.” and I want to challenge you otherwise. Why can’t you?
I think the number one reason we don’t look good in everything we wear is because we believe we don’t look good in it. This limiting belief prevents us from truly expressing ourselves in the way we wish we could. It prevents us from dressing our truth and letting our creativity flow when it comes to our wardrobe and clothing decisions.
It has nothing to do with the actually style you “wish you could wear” (because they make complimentary colours and sizes for all shapes and individuals). It has everything to do with how you feel about yourself in that style or outfit.
Below are my four favourite mindsets to help you cultivate that Damn-I-Look-Gooood attitude.
With these simply mental shifts you can totally rock a range of anything from a white t-shirt, converse shoes, and ripped boyfriend jeans, to a vintage 80’s rainbow sequin fitted mini dress with 6 inch heels- I know because I sport both these looks from time to time.
1. CONFIDENCE- OWN IT, FLAUNT IT, COMMIT TO IT.
You’re probably not surprised that this is the first piece to making any outfit look good. When you can genuinely tap into your inner confidence you can wear what makes you feel amazing and not care what other people think. You won’t need their approval because you love you.
Sure there are some technical things that will help you feel more confident, like choosing the right size garment or the right colour palette to go with your skin, eyes, and hair, but ultimately you need to tune into your inner world on this one. When you practice self-love your confidence sky-rockets and you start dressing to accentuate the parts you love and stop focusing on the parts you want to hide.
Here are a couple of my favourite ways to boost both external and internal confidence.
Commit to a daily list of 3 things you love about your body. Write them down everyday for at least 21 days. It may seem like a lot if this whole self-love and self-acceptance thing is new to you, but you’ll get creative and find things you love that you never thought of.
Sure, you may obviously love your booty or voluminous hair, but you’ll also find little details you never thought of before. Like I personally love my collarbone and delicate fingers. Which means I know I’ll feel confident playing up these features with cute rings or an open neckline.
Keep an evidence journal of all of your wins and accomplishments for the day (including past big life wins too!) Things that you can include are situations where you were in integrity with yourself (boundaries, honoring your self-care, following your heart) or accomplishments like a promotion at work or finishing your first semester at school. Remember that you are in control of the standards you set for yourself. So make it easy and be gentle and loving with yourself.
When you have this “I’m Awesome” list to look over, you’ll be able to visually see that you are the creator of your life and reality. Acknowledging yourself can be a huge boost in how confident you feel in life. Everything on that list happened because of you.
You are fabulous and you got this.
This type of list is great to reflect back on when you’re feeling a bit out of flow too. It makes for a great confidence pick me up to get you back on track and feeling great about yourself again!
Once you’ve accessed your confidence, it’s easy to channel it into your style.
2. PLAYFULNESS- STOP TAKING CLOTHES SO SERIOUSLY!
Fashion is meant to be fun!
Yes, it also plays an important role to protect us from the elements and helps regulate our body temperature, but ultimately there are so many choices out there because we’re meant to play around and see what works for our personality.
When you stop taking your outfit so seriously it stops becoming a means to impress others and transitions into a way for you to express your inner child and creativity.
I personally loved playing dress up as a little girl. I could be entertained for hours if you gave me a costume box or a stash of my grandma’s old dresses. It became a way for me to find and express parts of myself that felt hidden or “not acceptable” for everyday wear.
So why can’t you get lost in your imagination as an adult and allow that magic to shine through in the way you carry yourself?
This happened to me the other day. I felt inspired to wear a floor length skirt, and thick silk scarf, and a wide brimmed floppy felt hat. It wasn’t overly dramatic or costumey. In fact it was a nice everyday fashionable look that lots of bohemian girls can be spotted sporting these days. But the real reason I put this outfit together wasn’t because it was “in”, it was the way it made me feel when I left the house.
I felt like a majestic princess promenading the castle gardens with every swish of my skirt and peek from under my hat. My whole demeanor shifted and life felt more elegant.
Seeing the world through this filter plastered a smile across my face all day— and that smile is the ultimate accessory for looking your best and guess what… it goes with everything!
So next time you’re picking your outfit , try and envision who/what you want to embody that day. Having this outlook on dressing yourself will definitely bring back that sense of playful dress up.
3. DRESS IN ALIGNMENT WITH YOUR MOOD
One of the best ways to feel good in what you’re wearing is to tap into your inner emotional state. Are you feeling excited? Or super mellow and chill? Maybe you’re feeling creative or inspired. Or today’s just one of those days and you feel like a grump and standoffish. What do those emotions look like to you? And how can you see yourself expressing them through your wardrobe?
When you can align your outer appearance with what you are feeling inside, it gives you a sense of authenticity. You’re showing up as your true self and showing the world a part of your inner world. It also acts a gateway for these emotions to flow through you and be expressed, seen, and cleared.
The energy of our emotions are meant to flow through us. If they don’t they can block us in many areas of our life and keep us stuck. There are many healthy outlets to help these emotions flow but it ultimately comes down to expression. And since I believe that the clothes we choose are a form of creative self-expression, I believe that when we dress our mood we are healing ourselves and living in honesty and transparency.
It can be a vulnerable practice when you look at your clothing this way, but it also opens up the space for true connection with others.
I’ll give you some example on how I practice this:
When I am in a serious a chill, calm, and easy going mood, the first thing I want to do is continue feeling free and casual. It doesn’t mean I have to wear my gym sweats and a t-shirt (although there’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what makes you feel amazing). But I usually gravitate towards stretchy baggy pants, a graphic cropped t-shirt, and minimal accessories.
If my inner business woman is on fire, and I feel strong and powerful, I’ll incorporate structured garments like a blazer or collared blouse. If I have a meeting or professional interaction, I want to feel a sense of “I got this”. I can help myself get there by wearing a pair of skinny jeans or pants that feel sturdy, tight, and literally unshakable.
Then there’s the times I dress for pure excitement and joy. I’ve been spotted wearing vibrant abstract-printed tops even in the middle of Vancouver’s rainy Winter. Sure, it confuses some people, but others have actually expressed how much joy it’s brought them to see someone rocking such a bright and “out there” print in a sea of gloomy dark neutrals.
I’m a firm believer in never dulling your sparkle to make other people feel more comfortable. You are responsible for your experience, and they are responsible for their own.
4. LISTEN TO YOURSELF- NOT JUST THE TRENDS
As I mentioned previously, style is all about expression, play, and fun. So I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with buying something that is trendy as long as the intention behind it is that makes you feel like your shiny true self.
When I caution people to not follow the latest trends it’s because I feel like the fashion industry is a lot like the beauty industry. They’ll try and tell you what’s “hot” and “new”, and that you’re not pretty enough, modern enough, or look young enough unless you buy what they’re selling.
And guess what… that’s bullshit.
Your beauty truly does come from within and is unique to you. Nothing in fashion is new and everything has been done before. Every trend out there has been borrowed from another decade or century. This is a pretty freeing realization. If nothing is ever new then you can stop putting so much pressure on yourself to keep up. Trends come and go. A lot of it is a marketing tactic to make you feel like you don’t belong or you aren’t worthy of your desires unless you dress a certain way.
Honestly you’ll look good in anything you wear when it’s something that speaks to your soul and you stop looking for external validation of what other people think is trendy or attractive.
Again I’m not saying avoid them completely- there’s tons of trends I really adore right now (like big hats, ethnic prints, and gypsy inspired jewelry!) but I only wear them when it’s an extension of my own self-acceptance and self-confidence. I also feel more “me” when I pair trendy items with unconventional items in my closet that are timeless or super unique to my tastes.
My rule for trends; if it makes you feel inauthentic or uncomfortable, then you won’t look your best in it.
THE ULTIMATE SECRET TO LOOKING GOOD
The secret to looking good in everything isn’t about buying the right style, posing a certain way, or wearing that-type of shoe with this-type of skirt. It’s about feeling confident and owning your looks, having a sense of play, dressing however you feel, and not giving a shit about what everyone else is wearing.
Does it feel a bit scary to dress for you? Are you scared others may judge you?
The best way to solve this fear is to be open minded towards others preferences. When we stop judging others on their looks, we stop attracting judgement into our own lives.
I know beauty radiates from within and I believe all women can embody their own unique expression of it. If you have any amazing tips that help you feel like a million bucks, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.
Feature image by Jordan Gray